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MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Margaret Atwood honoured for activism

MeToo founder Tarana Burke, Margaret Atwood honoured for activism
From CBC - April 14, 2018

They were honouring stars of Hollywood, the media and literature, but it was longtime activist and MeToo founder Tarana Burkea name unknown to most people until six months agowho got the biggest ovation at Variety's annual Power of Women event on Friday.

Burke, who founded the MeToo movement 12 years ago and runs it out of the Brooklyn, New York, offices of Girls for Gender Equity, said she wanted people to recognize its deeper purposeworking with survivors of sexual assault, and not simply bringing down powerful abusers.

"Folks think it's about naming and shaming, about taking down powerful men. But they are wrong," Burke said.

She noted that she was "desperate to change the narrative about the MeToo movement before it's too late."

Another misconception, according to Burke: that the current cultural reckoning is a "moment."

"It is a mistake to think of this as a moment," she said. "Movements are long, and they are built over time. Movements are made from moments."

Burke added that the past six months have been "like something out of a movie," and that she had never imagined that one day she would see the country involved in a sustained national dialogue about sexual violence.

In order to keep momentum going, Burke explained, funds are needed. She said former tennis star Billie Jean Kingwho famously fought for equal pay for women on the tennis tourhad recently pledged to not only give $100,000 herself, but to help find nine more people to do that.

Burke was honoured along with six other high-profile women, all for their work with various charities.

Emily Blunt was cited for her work with the Malala Fund, named for Pakistani activist Malala Yousafazi, in promoting education for girls around the world. She spoke of how education was helping her older daughter, who is only four, thrive.

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